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Most New Yorkers use some form of social media on a daily basis. But what happens when social media use and intoxicated driving intersect?

In 2013, CNN reported a story where a man in Hawaii posted a video of himself online that showed him drinking from a beer bottle while behind the wheel. Word of the video eventually made its way to the police, who were able to track down where the man lived and showed up at this house to arrest him. In another incident, an Oregon man posted on Facebook that he side swiped a car while driving drunk. Police were later able to match his post to a hit-and-run reported to them earlier.

Because of cases like these, people are becoming more and more aware that what they post online can be used as legal evidence against them. While some cases may call for subpoenas to access deleted content, others like the ones above do not require any extra effort on the part of the police. The law affords citizens protections against incriminating themselves while in police custody, but there is no such protection if someone voluntarily posts a picture of themselves drinking and driving online.

While social media can be an asset to police, it can also hinder their efforts to cut down on drunk driving. When DUI checkpoints are set up, news of their locations can travel fast over Twitter and other social media sites. As a result, according to CNET, police are changing their tactics by switching up the times and locations of their checkpoints. Although, some argue that posts about DUI checkpoints may not be such a bad thing. News of a checkpoint in their area may actually deter some people from getting behind the wheel and may indirectly prevent accidents and save lives.

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